Published: 11/05/2014 - Updated: 10/28/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Yellow discoloration in the sclera of the eye, which is the membrane that surrounds the eye that is generally white, is known as “yellow eyes”.
Why does the sclera in eyes turn yellow?
Because a substance known as bilirubin becomes deposited in the eye, which is a compound that comes from blood as hemoglobin waste. Hemoglobin is the protein that transports oxygen stored in red blood cells, and which is eliminated by the liver towards the intestines through the tract that joins the two (biliary tract). This substance is responsible for the brown-greenish color in feces. If the excessive amount of bilirubin produced surpasses the liver’s normal elimination capacity, it accumulates in tissues.
Jaundice or bilirubin accumulation
Stored bilirubin in the body is called jaundice. When it accumulates in the blood it also accumulates in tissues like skin and the sclera of the eye.
Insufficient bilirubin elimination turns the eye a yellow color, and could be caused by the following reasons:
- Problems with the liver or biliary tracts
- Pancreas problems or dysfunctions
- Could be symptoms of hepatitis or cirrhosis
- Presence of gallstones
- Excessive stress or an angry or intolerant personality
- Some medications could inflame the liver or interfere with correct bile flow. A few of the medications that could cause yellow eyes are: erythromycin (antibiotic), anabolic steroids, some medications that lower fever and other analgesics, as well as oral contraceptives.
- In some cases of anemia, the sclera can turn yellow and the skin turns yellow or pallid in color. Red blood cell diseases, like hemolytic anemia and anything else that causes red blood destruction (for example, thalassemia, hereditary spherocytosis, Rh incompatibility between mothers and recently born children, etc.), will determine hemoglobin release into blood and its destruction by bilirubin.
Natural treatment for Yellow Eyes
Watch your emotional states: stress and anger are the primary causes of liver deficiencies and imbalances. If you frequently get angry or you are constantly under pressure, your liver will frequently secrete bile which unbalances normal liver functions. Your liver will also be tired and exhausted, and could become ill.
So the first step is to try to relax. Find more harmonious ways of solving things or searching for help if you feel like you don’t know how to deal with something. Exercising is wonderful for fighting stress. Give yourself one hour a day to do some sort of physical activity that you truly enjoy; walking or dancing are very good for relaxing, as well as tai-chi, yoga, etc. You should also find readings that support you, bring new understanding of things, and that help create more confidence in your life.
Detoxify your liver: the liver is an extraordinary organ that has metabolic and secretion functions. It stores certain vitamins and minerals and plays a part in hormone productions. It’s role is crucial in digesting fats. One of the liver’s most fascinating properties that other organs do not possess, is that it can regenerate itself if it is damages, or if it loses hepatic tissue by some accident or operation. The liver can regenerate and recover normal size, or the part lost.
In order to detoxify your liver and to help strengthen it, you have to give it good vacations, avoiding the following foods: refined flour and sugar (white), animal fats, and especially foods that are fried or packaged, red meats, and cow’s milk and its byproducts. Avoid alcohol and taking medications.
You should try to eat as raw as possible and include the following foods in your diet: fresh vegetable juices (whereby you include carrots combined with parsley, celery, alfalfa, or another vegetable of your choice, daily). Do not mix vegetable juices with lemon, sugar, or fruit. Drink them when freshly made, one or two glasses a day. Also, you should drink 2 liters of water a day and drink 2 or 3 cups of the following infusions:
- Milk thistle: strengthens and nourishes the liver
- Mint and chamomile
Include in your diet foods like artichokes, soy, whole grain rice, and vegetable soups.
If, in addition to yellow eyes, you experience nausea, vomiting, pallid or yellow skin discoloration, consult your doctor.
- Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000:139-148.
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). 2018. Yoga: In Depth.
- Natural Medicines Web site. Accessed at naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/ on April 14, 2018
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 10/28/2018
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